Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that Toyota North America is expanding at its facility in York Township, a project that is expected to generate a total capital investment of up to $47.7 million. The global automaker is also planning to launch a new “Driving Possibilities” STEM initiative, a community engagement program focused on preparing youth for the careers of tomorrow. Michigan is the first state Toyota has chosen to kick off this initiative aligning with the company’s active participation in Michigan’s Talent Action Team and its close collaboration with the MiSTEM Network to create PK12 opportunities throughout the state.
“We’re thrilled to bring home this $47 million investment from Toyota, further underscoring our leadership in advanced automotive manufacturing and building on our efforts to position Michigan as the global leader in the future of mobility and vehicle electrification,” said Governor Whitmer. “We thank Toyota for their longstanding commitment to Michigan and look forward to continuing to work together as they develop their future global strategy right here in Michigan. As we continue investing in our people, developing attractive places and winning impactful projects, we’ll send a message to businesses of all sizes around the globe that they can make their future here in Michigan.”
The governor was joined for the announcement at Toyota’s North American Research and Development Headquarters in Saline with Toyota executives, education leaders, and members of Team Michigan including Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).
Toyota North America is planning to add a battery testing facility for battery cell, module, and pack testing capability at its R&D headquarters campus in Saline/York Township. The capital investment is estimated at $28.8 million in new construction and $18.9 million in machinery and equipment. The company estimates that approximately 30 existing full-time employees, including engineers and technicians, will be retrained to support the transition from ICE to EV as a result.
The Michigan Strategic Fund is supporting this expansion with a Michigan Business Development Program grant of $500,000 and the MEDC has approved a 12-year State Education Tax Abatement valued at $1.09 million. Michigan was chosen for the project over a competing site in North Carolina due to the company’s existing relationships with suppliers and customers, Michigan’s leadership in automotive manufacturing and future mobility, and the state’s talented workforce.
York Township and Ann Arbor SPARK are supportive of the project.
“Toyota is a leader in new technologies and finding unique pathways to connect with STEM talent. This new research & development investment is an important part of our region’s expertise in growing new mobility technologies,” said Paul Krutko, President & CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. “Ann Arbor SPARK is pleased to partner with Toyota as they grow in York Township.”
In addition to adding future-looking capabilities to its North American headquarters, this expansion allows Toyota to explore new business opportunities, further the company’s commitment and investment in Michigan.
Toyota also announced its “Driving Possibilities” initiative today, a 14-state community engagement initiative focused on preparing youth for the careers of tomorrow through innovative learning opportunities enhancing K-12 outcomes. Toyota is kicking off this initiative in Michigan, which includes the creation of a STEM institute at Eastern Michigan University for Ypsilanti and Lincoln Consolidated school districts. Partners in this also include Washtenaw Community College and Washtenaw Intermediate School District. Building on the districts’ commitments to STEM education and ensuring student success, the team will develop an integrated K-12 STEM model. Toyota is committed to supporting the project for five years and will evaluate support as the program progresses.
“This is an exciting investment by Toyota to create a STEM institute and STEM-related career opportunities for Michigan students,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “Connecting business, K-12, higher education, parents, and the community is an ideal way to support students with vibrant career awareness, exploration, and development programs. We all have a stake in the future of Michigan and in current and future jobs for Michiganders.”
Toyota celebrated 50 years in Michigan in 2022 and, to date, has invested approximately $1.5 billion in the state. The company has R&D facilities in Ann Arbor Charter Township, York Township, Plymouth and Livonia and currently employs more than 2,000 Michiganders.
In 2015, Toyota announced it was expanding its Ann Arbor Charter Township facility, investing $75.15 million and creating 85 jobs. The expansion was part of the company’s 2014 decision to relocate its direct procurement operations from Erlanger, KY to its campus in York Charter Township (Washtenaw County) as part of an increased investment in engineering capabilities. The expansion required the company to construct a new facility at its York Township location, investing up to $32.5 million and creating 250 jobs.
“We are thrilled to welcome this significant investment by Toyota as we continue to position Michigan as the undisputed leader in vehicle electrification and future mobility. The company’s new Driving Possibilities initiative supports our efforts to promote careers and recruit talent to fill jobs in Michigan’s surging electric vehicle and transportation mobility sector, and underscores our state’s talented workforce,” said Quentin Messer, Jr., CEO of the MEDC and President and Chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund. “We are grateful to Governor Whitmer, legislators from both parties, and local officials for their continued support for our programs that help make announcements like today’s possible. Today’s investment is an example of Make It In Michigan and demonstrates its focus on People, Place and Projects that are making a tangible difference in the lives of our friends and neighbors.”
Today’s announcement to support greater STEM career opportunities for K-12 students complements the state’s ongoing work through its Talent Action Team to pilot unprecedented recruitment effort in a public-private partnership with public universities, community colleges and 15 major Michigan employers, including Toyota. This includes the launch of The Michigander EV Scholars program, featuring up to $10,000 scholarships to as many as 350 top tech students at participating universities who sign a letter of employment with an approved company and commit to staying for 12 months in Michigan. To learn more about Michigan’s innovative efforts to connect employers with skilled talent to support and fill high-tech opportunities, visit michiganbusiness.org/talent-action-team.
“Critical investments in STEM education allow us to increase access to real-world science, technology, engineering and math education our students need to prepare and excel in the high-demand, high-tech careers on the horizon,” said Megan Schrauben, MiSTEM Network executive director. “We applaud Toyota for their investment and partnership with the state of Michigan’s Talent Action Team and the MiSTEM Network that will connect employers with skilled talent to fill in-demand STEM jobs.”
Since its creation in 2017, the MiSTEM Advisory Council has provided $3.05 million annually in state grants to support PK-12 STEM partnerships that develop programming to increase student engagement and achievement, as well as new programs to expand access to work-related experiences and professional training. More information about MiSTEM and 3-P STEM Education Grant funding made available for eligible Michigan schools is available at www.Michigan.gov/MiSTEM.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org.